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11.23.2011

NO WONDER THEY CAN'T FLY WELL

I grew up on a farm.  We, from time to time, raised chickens and turkeys.  When they were full grown we ate them.  Ok PETA people back down!  It was simple - circle of life sort of stuff.  I don't feel bad about that nor did I really ever get overly attached to a chicken or to a turkey. Though I did get attached to my calf named Bear, but that is a whole other story.  When the poultries were full grown, we would get up before daylight to catch, cage  and transport them to the slaughter house.  Maybe slaughter house is loose term.  The slaughter house consisted of an older Mennonite woman and her one daughter. They processed (nice way to say killed and dressed them) chickens and turkeys for local folks who raised them.  Turkeys are big.  And, they can be mean. They will run at you and peck you if you try to mess with them.   Trying to catch a turkey, even in an enclosed barn by its legs and turn it upside down, was a challenge.  This year for Thanksgiving we decided to buy a fresh farm raised turkey.  I wanted my husband to taste the difference between a Butterball frozen one and a farm raised killed and processed and cooked the next day turkey.  When I called to order my turkey, I asked for anything at least 25 pounds.  The turkey raisers couldn't pinpoint exactly what the weight of the turkey would be several weeks before Thanksgiving, just that it would be close to 25 pounds (give or take a pound or so).  I mean there was still  fattening up to do.  We picked our turkey up last night.  It was ginormous, weighing in at a hefty 31 pounds dressed.  Fully undressed, before they chopped its head and feet off and plucked all its feathers, it topped the scale at 40 pounds!   According to all my google searching last night and this morning, that turkey needed to be baked 15 minutes or so for every pound of meat.  WOW!  That works out to 7.75 hours at 325 degrees.  We put it in the oven this morning at 8 a.m. before we left for work today.  It has a whole stick ofP butter smeared on it along with some honey and every herb and spice you can think of.  I don't know who thought of turkey for Thanksgiving (the whole Pilgrim thing was probably fish) but I support the it whole heartedly.  I popped that fat bird in the oven and mentally thanked God for the goodness that awaited me and those who would gather around my table tomorrow on Thanksgiving.   At work today, as I sat eating my shaved turkey sandwich for lunch, I laughed at its irony while a big ass 31 pound turkey cooked in my oven.  Gobble, Gobble!

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